Today is the day that Hangouts finally loses SMS support. We were warned by Google about it months ago when Hangouts started showing a warning that it would no longer support the feature. But, as of today, it's finally set to happen. For anyone who isn't on Project Fi or Google Voice — both of which will continue to support SMS in Hangouts — this is the end of an era. Read More
Downloading massive files isn't always convenient, especially if you don't have great Internet. And unless you've still got an unlimited data plan, letting the download continue while you're on the move without WiFi is just a bad idea. Google seems to agree, as Android O's second developer preview now features a 'pause download' button. Read More
Photo books were announced at Google I/O 2017 just three days ago, and could be ordered that same day - but on the web only. However, the feature was said to be rolling out to the Google Photos Android and iOS apps 'in the coming weeks.' It seems like that estimate was just a tad conservative, as it's already showing up in some people's Photos apps. Read More
Actions on Google, the platform that makes it possible for third-party developers and services to integrate with Google Assistant, has been seeing a lot of success lately with important companies jumping on board like LG, GE, Logitech, and more. The newest addition though might be one of the most interesting — at least if your name is Artem Russakovskii (all hail our geeky leader!) and you have dozens of lights, locks, sensors, and cameras all working within the Alarm.com system.
Alarm.com users will be able to add their system under Google Assistant's Assistant apps section or by saying, "OK Google, talk to Alarm.com." Once authenticated with their credentials, they have a lot of options at their disposal. Read More
Kia's doing a decent job equipping its cars with Android Auto support, with popular models like the Soul and Forte already coming with it. Previously, eight Kias were already listed as being Android Auto-compatible. Today, though, the Android Auto site was updated to reflect that eight more Kias now support Google's in-car operating system, with an additional three on the way. Read More
Android has a long and complicated history with audio output, but Google has been improving audio on Android with higher quality sound and lower latency. In Android O, developers will have a new tool to perform audio transitions and effects. Read More
A pretty nifty new feature was talked about at last night's Android Fireside Chat. In addition to the other O features and the rest of the announcements at I/O, it was revealed that we'll soon be able to update our graphics drivers through the Play Store. This is a feature that is presumably only going to be present in O. There's no word yet on the specifics as to how that might work, or which OEMs or chipset manufacturers might be interested in taking advantage of it, but as of yesterday we know it's coming. Read More
If you're considering building a new VR game or app experience, you may be facing new challenges in how to create realistic scenes, how to move your characters across space without dizzying the player, and how to choose between click and gesture controls depending on what's best for your setting.
Daydream Elements is a new open-source app by Google that provides tech demos for many scenarios regarding these 3 areas: locomotion, menus and virtual controls, and rendering and lighting. There's also a full documentation page with explanations and details on each aspect, plus the source code on GitHub, so you should have everything at your disposal. Read More
There are a few reasons why your phone or tablet stops getting Android updates. One reason could be that the maker of your device's processor (e.g. Qualcomm or MediaTek) never updated the drivers for newer versions of Android. This is why no phones or tablets with the Snapdragon 800/801 chip ever officially received Android 7.0 Nougat, including the Nexus 5.
Google announced Project Treble a week ago, which aims to solve this particular problem by separating the Android OS from the 'Vendor interface' (the part with all the low-level drivers and binary blobs). The vendor interface under Project Treble is also designed to be forwards-compatible, meaning that it shouldn't have to be updated for every Android update, in theory. Read More
Android has never really been designed for use on desktop or laptop PCs, but various ports like Android x86 and Remix OS have appeared over the years. Now that Android apps can run on Chromebooks, perhaps Google thought it was finally time to implement pointer capture support in Android.
Starting with Android O, apps can capture a device's mouse pointer using the new requestPointerCapture method. Read More